Belgian Shepherd and Police Dog

Belgian Shepherd and Police Dog and


 From paintings by Louis Agassiz Fuertes


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Uses of German Shepherds in War

On the continent of Europe there are many kinds of dogs used for , but those best known in this country are the German and Belgian sheep-dogs.

They have come into unusual prominence within the last five years because of the notable part they have played with the

Red Cross units and in other activities on the battlefields of France and Belgium.

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This is one of the handsomest and most attractive of dogs,

and approximates more closely than any other the really wolf type.

Strong and clean of limb, bright of eye, and alert in every sense, gifted .

with a very high intelligence and a wonderful memory for what he has been taught,

he is a most excellent and useful working dog.

The should stand 22 to 26 inches at the shoulder

and show in every line the qualities which he is supposed to possess :

“intelligence, alertness, loyalty, gentleness, courage, obedience, willingness, and devotion.”

He is a graceful, powerful dog, with beautiful lines and curves

denoting both strength and speed.

It is not necessary to mention the many uses he has been put to in the present war, as Red Cross, No Man’s Land patrol, messenger, and ration-carrier.

It is perhaps as well to say here that any such active, restless, vigorous,

and intelligent animal as this becomes a grave responsibility to its owner and

should be sedulously cared for and kept in control every minute.

They become very dangerous when neglected or turned adrift or

thrown on their own resources by being lost, and once they form a

habit of chicken or sheep killing they become inveterate and

persistent in their maraudings and ordinarily must be shot.

Nature of One Dog

One very beautiful dog of this kind was recently shot in the Catskills after repeated ravages

which started a rumor of wolves in the region.

This impression was very natural, and when the photographs sent to the

Conservation Commission were identified as a dog the rustic sufferers were still only partly convinced.

Dog it was, however, and apparently a very fine example of this new and interesting type.

While the standard allows great range of color, those most often seen in this country

are of the so-called “wolf” colors”dark tipping of hair over a tawny or buff ground.

The muzzle (unlike that of a wolf) is usually blackish.

Both the German and the Belgian dogs may be divided into three general types,

namely, , , and .

By their erect ears and general expression they betray their near relationship to the wolf.

Some of the varieties are becoming popular in this country as companions,

and while they do not seem demonstratively affectionate they are

staunch and loyal and conduct themselves with

quiet dignity which is equaled by few other breeds.


Many types of shepherd dogs have been developed in Europe, and doubtless a good many have just “growed,” like Topsy.

But it is not likely that the Belgian dog is of the latter class, for in common with several other Belgian varieties he has arrived at a very concise standard,

and has proved in the present war one of the most dependable and valuable of dogs for the purposes of finding and bringing aid to the wounded in No Man’s Land, as well as carrying messages where a man could not go and live.

Smaller than the German Shepherd

He is a trifle smaller than the better known and more extensively advertised German shepherd, or “police,” dog, and is usually solid black in color.

He is also a bit stockier and less rangy in build and has a little more width of brow. While not so strong as his big, lightcolored German congener, nor so formidable as an antagonist,

he is equally intelligent and capable, equally keen of scent and sight, and probably less of a responsibility for his owner.


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